I wish it had been fairies, but it wasn’t. Mind you, if you look closely at the photograph you can see the odd fairy shape or two.
I’ve been noticing these tiny white mothy things in my garden for a few days now. Pure white swarms of minute insects every time I pick up a leaf or deadhead a plant. I suppose I should have known what they were - after all the clue is in the name - but in all my years of gardening in various places I have never, ever, come across a single whitefly; let alone a swarm of the little buggers. Greenfly I have had and blackfly are regular visitors to my nasturtiums, but until now the whitefly have stayed away.
I have to say that they weren’t what I expected. Both greenfly and blackfly look like the kind of crawlies that will damage your plants. Whitefly, on the other hand, look like benevolent creatures who might have flown down from the moon and would have Tinkerbell for a friend. Of course they aren’t benevolent at all and left unchecked can do all sorts of damage to your plants.
They go in through the leaf and stem, literally sucking the life out of plants, and live to a five day breeding cycle. Once you have them you have to be vigilant. I sprayed with a mixture of washing up liquid and bug killer which seems to have got them for now. Five days down the line though it might be a different story. I’m actually hoping for a sharp frost. That’ll get the little devils.
Oh well, it’s good to have a new foe to fight, as if the slugs weren’t enough. I’ll get them. Yes, my new quest it to eradicate the whitefly. Let’s hope that it doesn’t turn out to be mission impossible.
Now children, clap if you believe in fairies. It might help kill the whitefly.